Understanding Domain Name Records

There are a few concepts to grasp that will make it very easy to transfer your domain. Domain names are maintained by a registrar. An example of a registrar is Network Solutions. Until very recently, Network Solutions was the only registrar for domain names. Now you can choose from among many registrars. The InterNIC is a group that oversees domain names registration. To learn more, you can visit their website and read the FAQ and see the list of accredited registrars.

Your Domain Name Record

If you have registered a domain name then you are the registrant. Every domain record is identical in structure (please see the graphic below or download the sample record in Acrobat PDF format).

Every domain name record has an Administrative Contact, a Technical Contact and a Billing Contact. The registrar needs to know who administers the domain name, who handles the technical aspects and who to send the bill to at renewal time. The time between renewals can vary. Network Solutions usually bills every two years.The record structure for each of the three contacts is identical. Each contains the following information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Organization Name
  • Street Address
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Postal Code
  • Country
  • Phone Number
  • Fax Number
  • E-mail Address

To speed up data entry and to minimize the size of the registrar’s database, you may opt to create a handle, which is an ID code that points to a record containing the details of the contact. This can save you time when filling out the record.

DNS Information

The record also contains the DNS (Domain Name Server) information of your domain name so all the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) of the Internet know where to find your website when a request is submitted by a browser. A domain name server simply stores Internet addresses. Each address is expressed in terms of its name and IP address (Internet Protocol address). An IP address is simply a number that is assigned to a server on the Internet. All IP addresses use the format 255.255.255.255 (four groups of numbers ranging from zero to 255 separated by periods). These servers in combination with routers and other hardware and software comprise the “plumbing” of the Internet. This is an astonishingly simple system when you think of what it can do!

Every record has a primary and a secondary domain name server that it points to. When setting up your website this is the information you edit in your domain name record so that it points to your account at Studio 1 Design and Hosting. When you sign up for your account you will get a “Welcome” email. This email message is very important. It contains the primary and secondary domain name servers plus the IP addresses on which your account resides. This is the information that you need to change in your domain name record when transferring your domain from one web host to another.